Thursday, 5 January 2012

Feminist art

Mierle Ukeles: Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969

July 25, 2007 at 7:55am   by MOCA

Hartford Wash: Washing, Tracks, Maintenance:Outside, 1973 performance at Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, part of Maintenance Art Performance Series, 1973-74
Hartford Wash: Washing, Tracks, Maintenance:Outside, 1973 performance at Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, part of Maintenance Art Performance Series, 1973-74
Mierle Laderman Ukeles discussed her work in conjunction with WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution On Thursday, June 7, at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
After child-birth in 1968, Ukeles became a mother/maintenance worker and fell out of the picture of the avant-garde. In a rage, she wrote the Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969, applied equally to the home, all kinds of service work, the urban environment, and the sustenance of the earth itself. She viewed the Manifesto as “a world vision and a call for revolution for the workers of survival who could, if organized, reshape the world.”
Read the complete text below:

Proposal for an exhibition “CARE”
A.The Death Instinct and the Life Instinct:
The Death Instinct: separation; individuality; Avant-Garde par excellence; to follow one’s own path to death—do your own thing; dynamic change.The Life Instinct: unification; the eternal return; the perpetuation and MAINTENANCE of the species; survival systems and operations; equilibrium.
B. Two basic systems: Development and Maintenance.
The sourball of every revolution: after the revolution, who’s going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?
Development: pure individual creation; the new; change; progress; advance; excitement; flight or fleeing.
Maintenance: keep the dust off the pure individual creation; preserve the new; sustain the change; protect progress; defend and prolong the advance; renew the excitement; repeat the flight; show your work—show it again keep the contemporaryartmuseum groovy keep the home fires burning
Development systems are partial feedback systems with major room for change.
Maintenance systems are direct feedback systems with little room for alteration.
C. Maintenance is a drag; it takes all the fucking time (lit.)
The mind boggles and chafes at the boredom.
The culture confers lousy status on maintenance jobs = minimum wages, housewives = no pay.
clean you desk, wash the dishes, clean the floor, wash your clothes, wash your toes, change the baby’s diaper, finish the report, correct the typos, mend the fence, keep the customer happy, throw out the stinking garbage, watch out don’t put things in your nose, what shall I wear, I have no sox, pay your bills, don’t litter, save string, wash your hair, change the sheets, go to the store, I’m out of perfume, say it again—he doesn’t understand, seal it again—it leaks, go to work, this art is dusty, clear the table, call him again, flush the toilet, stay young.
D. Art:
Everything I say is Art is Art. Everything I do is Art is Art. “We have no Art, we try to do everything well.” (Balinese saying).
Avant-garde art, which claims utter development, is infected by strains of maintenance ideas, maintenance activities, and maintenance materials.
Conceptual & Process art, especially, claim pure development and change, yet employ almost purely maintenance processes.
The exhibition of Maintenance Art, “CARE,” would zero in on pure maintenance, exhibit it as contemporary art, and yield, by utter opposition, clarity of issues.
Three parts: Personal, General, and Earth Maintenance.
A. Part One: Personal
I am an artist. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. (Random order).
I do a hell of a lot of washing, cleaning, cooking, renewing, supporting, preserving, etc. Also, (up to now separately I “do” Art. Now, I will simply do these maintenance everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art. I will live in the museum and I customarily do at home with my husband and my baby, for the duration of the exhibition. (Right? or if you don’t want me around at night I would come in every day) and do all these things as public Art activities: I will sweep and wax the floors, dust everything, wash the walls (i.e. “floor paintings, dust works, soap- sculpture, wall-paintings”) cook, invite people to eat, make agglomerations and dispositions of all functional refuse.
The exhibition area might look “empty” of art, but it will be maintained in full public view.
B. Part Two: General
Everyone does a hell of a lot of noodling maintenance work. The general part of the exhibition would consist of interviews of two kinds.
1. Previous individual interviews, typed and exhibited.
Interviewees come from, say, 50 different classes and kinds of occupations that run a gamut from maintenance “man,” maid, sanitation “man,” mail “man,” union “man,” construction worker, librarian, grocerystore “man,” nurse, doctor, teacher, museum director, baseball player, sales”man,” child, criminal, bank president, mayor, moviestar, artist, etc., about:
”-what you think maintenance is;
-how you feel about spending whatever parts of your life you spend on maintenance activities;
-what is the relationship between maintenance and freedom;
-what is the relationship between maintenance and life’s dreams.
2. Interview Room—for spectators at the Exhibition:
A room of desks and chairs where professional (?) interviewers will interview the spectators at the exhibition along same questions as typed interviews. The responses should be personal.
These interviews are taped and replayed throughout the exhibition area.
C. Part Three: Earth Maintenance
Everyday, containers of the following kinds of refuse will be delivered to the Museum:
-the contents of one sanitation truck;
-a container of polluted air;
-a container of polluted Hudson River;
-a container of ravaged land.
Once at the exhibition, each container will be serviced:
purified, de-polluted, rehabilitated, recycled, and conserved by various technical (and / or pseudo-technical) procedures either by myself or scientists.
These servicing procedures are repeated throughout the duration of the exhibition.
originally posted June 13, 2007

My father posted the top (Inflatable women) picture on his facebook page, one of many 'funny' pictures. The below (Kirsten Justeen sculpture 11 1969) is an image I found whilst researching a feminist project, that I worked on a while back it just seems like the two put together are now a visual conversation.That is what I call humour.

'Setting myself up to fall' - 2012

 Watch the film first before reading below- make up your own interpretation.

This film is about fad dieting on the surface, but looking closer it becomes about sabotaging the good thing in your life.

The liquid in the glass is cranberry juice, and in the silver tin is sugar. I put 10 teaspoons of sugar in the glass, stirred and drank it. Whenever I have tried to be healthy I always end up ruining it with too much sugar. I think this is why I'm always tired. In any person food is a key part of the diet. Without it you'd die. If you neglect it you suffer. If you indulge in it you expand. Mainting a healthy diet is a neccesity as humans.

It's the same with your emotions and your spirit ( whatever you want to call it). You know what is healthy, smiling, forgiving, being patient... but you carry on in habits that you know are no good for you. (drinking, swearing, shouting.

Look again at the substances that I consume. The cranberry juice (is what I use instead of wine for communion)  It is now something more significant, to me the cranberry juice represents a holy commnion with God. It represents my giving myself to Christ looking to please him rather than myself. To indulge in him rather tham indulge in myself. The sugar however represents indulgance. In mixing the sugar into the drink, I am sabotaging myself. The sugar makes the drink invalid. The drink is no longer good for me because the sugar has polluted it.

In the same way In my communing with god, the sanctity is polluted by self indulgence.

The visual themes and context, I have realized in making this I have been inpsired and influenced by the early 1960's french movement the situationist international. A pioneer of this movement Guy Deboard invented/ came across the technique of detourment. It is basically using another image to explain a concept. That is what I have done.

It is not completely a religious film. In fact that is just one small insignificant -to the veiwer- part of it. It is about how I find funny that we as humans have the best intentions to improve ourselves, but we pollute that which was going to make us a little bit more healthy.

In addition the location, is my mothers kitchen. Not a white backdrop. Nothing near like a kitchen from 'good houskeeping' but it is  my reality. I purposely have left it how it is, not bothering to tidy up because I never do. The camera is just a digital everyday family camera. Nothing special. This was all considered.

Monday, 2 January 2012

'Too fiery to be a Mary' (self Portrait) -2012

This is about my mother always telling me I could be a model, but I was too nice for the catty industry. Little does she know that art can sometimes feel worse. For example If you don't read books, have correct grammar, if your not bi-lingual, If you watch soaps! This is my reply. In an unarming method of humour. This as my debutant piece of work if you like...saying I am here and will not be told i'm stupid. Or even ugly.

Visual language: my intention in composing myself.

  • I have greasy, un brushed hair, thrown about.
  • I have spots seen in shots where the light catches them.
  • I am wearing one of my mothers work dresses. (which I have never seen her wear) 
  • The back drop is an un-ironed bed sheet. (the only white sheet I had- think arte povera)
 The title refers to a thought that I had recently. I have been in pursuit of being a perfect, righteous woman, who would go on to change the world. Then I realised that I am 17. I don't Iron -after an incident where I burnt a vivid iron mark into the carpet by dropping it, but then also in another attempt at ironing a shirt I burnt my fingers by going to grab it metal plate first! Now I do not iron. Not for a while yet anyway- I rarely brush my hair-it's curly I have not yet learned how to tame it and brush it in one go- then as I got onto this list I am only 17 a woman in the making. Definately will never be perfect. So I decided -pursuit of Maryism aside- to do what I was created to do! To be an artist. To not just be a woman, but to educate myself, to experience cultures. I shall use the voice that the suffragettes gave me! (using that the internet gives me)

Watch this space. Chelsea.

This put a smile on my face :)

This was on Found Magazines blog when I had a look today... The cutest thing I've read for a while! I love coffee so much!

Sunday, 1 January 2012


I have a printmaking booklet due in and it's quite tedious when your in the festive relaxing mood. So I have come away to get some inspiration and remind myself that I love creating. (and hate form filling)

Here are some websites I like to visit;
- People post notes on the magazines blog that they have found. Often funny but always enthralling.
- A blog of a fashion student in London. She always posts beautiful photographs.
- People, anyone can send out a journal, and post it to people around the world, leaving a few pages journaled in, after 1000 journals the pilot project, 1001 journels was set up! If anyone reads this have a look get involved. It's on my to-do list.

Well those are just a few...